Memories of Camp Billy Gibbons by Lloyd Corder

Dam and RailingI have so many pleasant memories I really don't know where to start. George's tale really reminded me of lots of things. One that included George was the year I went down with the Bull Gang - the crew that usually went about three weeks before camp to officially open camp, to tidy up the whole area, do odd jobs that needed to be done, etc. One of our tasks was to install the handrail across the dam. (Editor's note: That would have been the new camp.) For those who don't know, the dam was about nine feet above the rock bed of the creek. My memory tells me it was about 125 to 150 feet across (help). We had to drill holes about six to eight inches deep into the rock dam with star drills and hammers (builds good shoulder muscles we were told). Things went well, but as you might expect a group of about 15 became bored and looked for some entertainment. Softball was the name of the game. After a while we decided we needed someone to play, so on one of the supply trips into Richland Springs, our leaders told the Richland Springs folks they had a team of Boy Scouts who wanted to play a game of softball.

The game was set up and when we went to town, we discovered they had lined up a girl's team to play the 'young' scouts. When they saw our team, things changed as we were all in high school; three from Eastland had been on the Eastland All State Baseball team. George Day, who you remember pitched a pretty mean game for the Brownwood First Baptist team (coached by Myron Embry), pitched for our scout team that night. Richland Springs had been scheduled to play Rochelle or Winchell, I don't remember which, but they were allegedly the toughest team in their league. When the dust cleared, George had pitched a great game; the three fellows from Eastland had sealed off the infield and our little scout team won 25 to 2.

Toots Gilliam taught me well. Early in my Air Force career I was assigned to the Department of Athletics at the USAF Academy. One of my jobs was Director of the swimming program to teach the non-swimmers, water sports, diving, etc. Toots was a great teacher and his training and my experiences at Camp Billy Gibbons served me well.

This story was taken from the Brownwood High School Class of 1947 newsletter "The Roar of '47", newsletter #8, Fall, 1999, edited by Jim White.

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